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Personal Branding Short Course

Personal Branding Short Course

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Marc Wood


Personal branding, once the remit of the Kardashians and Beckhams, has grown to become an essential aspect of every successful career. With the exponential growth of social media, and the growth of the freelance workforce and the gig economy, a strong personal brand has become an imperative for almost any ambitious future.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, famously said: “your brand is what people say about you when you have left the room”. Personal branding uses all kinds of design and marketing disciplines, techniques and tools to create, present and manage a curated self-image in the minds of others—not only your skills and experiences, but what you stand for, your personal vision, and what differentiates you from other professionals.

This practical course aims to not only investigate theoretical aspects of self-presentation and self-promotion, but will also explain with practical information how to create a strong personal brand, and how to build a personal brand strategy, to take control, manage and optimize your online personal brand presence and consequently, future opportunities.

Topics covered

The course will combine a series of short lectures, mini-workshops, and group exercises, alongside the running of one creative brief taken through all design stages. All taking place in a supportive environment with tutor/peer feedback.

  • Basics of branding & brand identity
  • What is personal branding?
  • Planning a personal branding strategy
  • Contextual research
    • Defining your specific audience
    • Determine your business area, competitors and marketplace
  • Defining yourself:
    • Defining your overall goals and aspirations.
    • Determine your self-brand attributes, your values (beliefs)
    • Identify your uniqueness and strength(s)
    • Defining your personal brand positioning (statement)
  • Brand identity creation:
    • Brand naming (if different to your own name)
    • Logo creation (if required)
    • Basic elements: your own colour palette and typeface(s)
  • Graphic branding: imagery, photographic and/or illustrative style
  • Verbal branding:
    • Write compelling messages and authentic ‘storytelling’
    • If required, a strong slogan (and/or hashtag)
  • Creating engaging content online
  • Social media branding, optimization of your personal brand on all main platforms
  • Basics of social media marketing practice, on main social media platforms
  • Managing your personal brand and personal brand assets
  • Fostering a bonding relationship with your audience

Course outcomes

By the end of this short course you will:

  • Define your public audience, the arena in which you operate, and your "competitors"
  • Have created a clear value proposition: what is your offering? How is it unique?
  • Have identified your personal brand’s core values, and purpose
  • Have defined your brand’s personality, and your unique personal brand ‘DNA’
  • Identify your goals and creating a vision for your future, and implementing it
  • Have written your ‘personal brand statement’
  • Have found/invented a personal brand name (If required) and/or a compelling slogan
  • Have designed a logo, if required
  • Establish a unique Look and Feel
    • defining colours, typography, layout and imagery style, etc.
    • coherently across all your communication channels: social media, website, blog
  • Discover your unique voice, and tone of voice. Curate your messages and storytelling to promote your personal brand
  • Optimize your (social media) profiles
  • Learn basics of how to market yourself/your brand on social media
    • On main platforms: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest (SnapChat)
    • On personal website or blog
  • Have ideas to generate effective content about you and your work
  • Have ideas how to maintain an authentic and bonding conversation to keep your audience engaged

Who should take this course?

Anyone interested in branding themselves or their (small, personal) business: design (and non-design) students, (BA, Bsc and MA, Msc) graduates, marketing junior level professionals, designers junior level, business owners, start-ups.

Level: Beginners

Entry requirements

A creative and open mind. Basic knowledge of Mac and Adobe CC software: especially Adobe Illustrator (also Photoshop and InDesign) would be very useful, but is not absolutely essential (as the basic operative functions will be taught in-class, and one-to-one if required).

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

After graduating in 1988 from Central Saint Martins, Marc Wood worked at the UK’s top agencies and consultancies including: Gary Rowlands Associates, Lewis Moberly, Michael Peters Group, Coley Porter Bell, Peter Saville Associates, Pentagram, Conran Design, Luxon-Carra and Contra, where he was creative director of a 110 people-strong global integrated creative agency.

Since 2004, Marc Wood has been running a small boutique brand consultancy specialising in brand identity creation , implementation and brand management. In the course of his career, Marc Wood has designed and managed branding and design projects for a large variety of international clients, in various fields of industry—from commercial brands to cultural bodies and corporate institutions—including, to name just a few: Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Bosch-Siemens, Aer Lingus, EMI Classical, Marks & Spencers, Philips, Sega, Alessi, Bowers & Wilkins, Thermos, Smithkline-Beecham, Cummins, Wärtsilä, M-Real, Kone, Coopers & Lybrand, Pilcher Hershman, Strutt & Parker, Factory communications, (French) Ministère de la Culture, Storm Model Agency, Wagamama, Warner Chappell, Warner Music, Yohji Yamamoto, London Fashion Week, Jil Sander, SCP, London Designer Show, Native Design.

Marc Wood’s approach centres around the creation of unique brand languages, original brand realms which convey the essence, express the personality and communicate the values and vision of the clients’ brands, be they products or institutions. Marc Wood’s practice strives to discover new ways to communicate identity, applying branding concepts on an array of media and touch-points to engage audiences, and exploring the new interactive possibilities of new technology to keep the conversation going.

Marc Wood has also been a senior Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s, University of the Arts London, since 1995. In his teaching, Marc’s focus lies in re-appraising and questioning the nature and experience of visual identity and branding, and in pushing the boundaries of branding beyond its current remits of practice.


Please bring the following with you to the first session:

  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Rubber
  • Sketchbook or notebook
  • USB stick.
  • Laptop with drawing software (preferably Adobe CC) is very useful and recommended for progressing own project off-site, but not absolutely essential, as in-class computers are provided for practical group sessions during the week.

IMPORTANT - Adobe ID Login for Short Course Students

Students will need to create an account with Adobe (unless you already have one) in order to access the Adobe suite at the college – instructions are included below. You will need to use a personal email address to create this. If you already have an account with Adobe, please make sure you bring your login details with you on the first day of the course.

Please note:

  • Creating an Adobe account is free.
  • The software will only be accessible when logged into a UAL networked computer
  • The same account can be used outside of the University, but software will only be accessible through a personal paid subscription that students will need to set up independently
  • You can still create an account on the day but doing this beforehand will save time and avoid delays to the start of the class.
  • If you already have an Adobe ID/ subscription you can use this on your short course rather than setting up a new account.

To create an account students will need to:

  1. Go to Adobe Sign in page.
  2. Select ‘Create an account’
  3. Enter your details and select ‘Create account’

Available dates

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